Kingsmill's holds final sale in department store's 148-year history

LONDON, ON, Feb. 21, 2014 /CNW/ - It is the end of an era. Kingsmill's department store, an iconic retailer in downtown London for 148 years, announced today its Going Out of Business Sale will begin on Thursday, March 6 at 10 a.m.

Starting at 5 p.m. today, February 21, the store will be closed to begin preparing for the historic sale. There will be drastic storewide price reductions on all the quality merchandise Kingsmill's has become known for over its long history. Millions of dollars worth of inventory will be sold with nothing held back.

"It has been a true privilege to be able to come to work every day and build relationships with our amazing customers and suppliers," said store president Tim Kingsmill. "We are looking forward to putting together one last sale to show our appreciation and say thank you to everyone for their unwavering support and dedication."

Founded in 1865 as a dry goods store, Kingsmill's has been operating at its Dundas Street location in downtown London for all of its 148 years in business. It is one of the few remaining independent, family-owned and operated department stores in Canada, and after several renovations and store expansions, currently occupies more than 73,000 square feet over five separate floors.

Kingsmill announced plans for his retirement in September 2013. The Going Out of Business Sale will continue as long as inventory levels allow. When the store's inventory is gone, Kingsmill's will officially close.

"This is an exciting, yet bittersweet moment," said Kingsmill. "I have been carefully planning my retirement and this sale marks the concluding step in those plans. This is the final chapter in the tremendously successful Kingsmill's story."

Kingsmill's - Store backgrounder

Kingsmill's is one of the oldest, family-owned and operated department stores in Canada.

In 1865 Thomas Frazer Kingsmill, an Irish immigrant, opened a dry goods store on Dundas Street in London, Ontario, Canada. The first store was 1,800 square feet. Today, the store occupies more than 73,000 square feet spread over five separate floors.

The store has burned down and been rebuilt twice during its 148-year history. The current building, built in 1932, features the original tin-plated ceilings and hardwood floors. The original pneumatic tube system is still used to send paperwork and change throughout the store, and the old-style elevator, complete with operator, continues to help customers get from floor to floor. These features have survived over the years in a conscious effort to maintain the character and elegance of the building.

A true department store, Kingsmill's offers home furnishings, fine china and collectibles, women's, men's and children's fashions, cosmetics, linens, gifts, kitchen ware, luggage and much more.

Despite many changes in product offerings over the years, the store's tradition of service and quality has remained intact. Winner of Canada's highest retail honour in 2010 - the Canadian Gift and Tableware Association's Overall Retailer of the Year Award - Kingsmill's is currently presided over by Timothy Frederick Kingsmill, fifth-generation of the Kingsmill family and great-great grandson of Thomas Frazer Kingsmill.

SOURCE: Kingsmill

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